He condemns the DMK for not taking steps to close the State-run liquor shops
AIADMK coordinator O. Panneerselvam on Sunday insisted that the DMK government closes the State-run liquor shops, also known as the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited (Tasmac) shops, until the COVID-19 spread comes under control. Since about 8% of the people whose samples were were tested are positive now, Mr. Panneerselvam said the shops should be closed, at least until the test positivity rate falls below 5%.
Though several restrictions were imposed in the State, including night curfew and a complete lockdown on January 9, the State Government had not mentioned anything about the liquor shops run by the Tasmac, he said in a statement.
“Within three days, those tested positive for COVID-19 have more than doubled. The State Government, allowing these shops to function is the reason behind such an increase in numbers,” Mr. Panneerselvam contended.
Mr. Pannerselvam said though Chief Minister M.K. Stalin had staged a protest, demanding the closure of Tasmac shops on May 7, 2020, when he was the Leader of the Opposition and the total number of cases were only 580, when he became the Chief Minister, he went on to announce on June 14, 2021 that these liquor shops would continue to function between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., even when the total number of cases touched 12,772.
On June 23 last year, the Minister for Prohibition had contended that the total number of persons who tested positive for the virus among those whose samples were tested should be considered, instead of the number of people who tested positive, Mr. Panneerselvam pointed out. “Going by the argument made by the DMK, liquor shops should have been closed now that it is 8%. But, they remain open across Tamil Nadu. On behalf of the AIADMK, I condemn the DMK government for not taking steps to close the liquor shops,” he said.
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